Emerald Ash Borer
In August of 2010 the Illinois Department of Agriculture confirmed that the Village of Vernon Hills has an infestation of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). The infestation will affect thousands of Ash trees on both public and privately owned property within the Village over the next several years. Therefore, we wish to make you aware of this unfortunate discovery in the event that you have existing Ash trees located on your property.
The Emerald Ash Borer is a small, green beetle whose larvae chew their way through the cambium tissues of Ash trees disrupting the flow of water and nutrients within the tree. Some signs that a tree is affected with EAB are its loss of leaves around the outer branches, leaving green shoots in the center and bottom of the tree. Additionally, you may notice small 1/8” diameter holes outlining the shape of an upper-case “D” on the exterior of the bark; in addition to shallow tunnels etched into the tree’s underlying tissue. Another sign is woodpecker damage to the outer bark, exposing large patches of the lighter colored inner bark. The woodpecker damage is best seen in the late winter months.
Based on the experiences of other municipalities who are dealing with EAB infestations, the survival rate for infested Ash trees is quite minimal. In fact, we anticipate that most of the untreated Ash trees within the Village will die before the year 2020. Therefore, if you begin experiencing signs of EAB to any of the Ash trees on your property, you may want to begin considering the removal of the tree.
Some of you may have had your Ash trees chemically treated with an insecticide as a preventative. This may help save the tree, however, be advised that chemical treatments must be routinely conducted every year or two (depending upon the chemical and method used) and may not be 100% effective. Even treated trees can become infested with EAB. If you have not previously started a regimen of preventative insecticide treatments and your tree is showing signs of infestation, then it may already be too late. A Certified Arborist can assist you in determining whether or not your tree is at risk and if chemical treatments are advisable.
The Village owns and maintains thousands of parkway trees along our streets. Many of these trees are Ash trees and will be affected by EAB at some point. The Village will monitor for EAB and will remove the trees as they become infested. This will leave some neighborhoods looking much different as the Ash trees are removed along with their shade giving canopy and eye pleasing form. It is our intent to replace the removed trees as quickly as possible within our given budgets.
We ask that you please pass this information along to all of your neighbors, and we encourage you to keep informed by checking back for future updates. Should you have questions pertaining to EAB that cannot be answered here or by any of the links below, please feel free to contact Ken Loar in the Public Works Forestry and Grounds Division at 847-680-2268 or KenL@vhills.org.
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